The man responsible for a crash that killed his teenage cousin and injured his brother and several others will spend the next four and a half years in prison.
Christopher Conrad, 20, of 24660 state Route 4, Richwood, was sentenced Wednesday to 54 months in prison.
In August, Conrad pleaded no contest and was found guilty of one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
About 9:37 p.m., March 23, Conrad was driving a 2011 Hyundai Sonata northwest on Harmon Patrick Road near Ford-Reed Road when he veered off the left side of the road and hit a culvert. Conrad and his four passengers were ejected.
Daniel Louck, who goes by his middle name, Chase, 15, of Marion, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Union County Coroner’s Office.
A 15-year-old boy was flown to Nationwide Children’s Hospital via MedFlight.
Conrad along with two other passengers, both 17-year-old boys, were taken to Memorial Hospital. One of those taken to Memorial was taken to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Charges in the case stem from Louck’s death as well as the serious injuries sustained by the boy taken to OSU Medical Center.
Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips said Conrad could have faced additional charges, but other occupants and victims did not want to press charges or release medical records.
During the sentencing hearing, Tammy Louck, Chase’s mother, told the court that was, “the last day my heart truly felt full.”
She said her son’s death broke her heart and took “any sense of peace” she had.
“Chase is gone because of one person, that is his cousin Christopher David Conrad,” the mother said.
She asked visiting judge Mark O’Connor to sentence Conrad to the maximum six and a half years in prison.
“I don’t want him to be able to go live his life as nothing ever happened. Chase will never be able to experience so many things in this life, why should Christopher be given the chance to go on like nothing ever happened?”
She also told the judge that she believes Conrad is not bothered by his actions and, “if he is given the chance to drive again, he will do this again.”
Family members of the living victim said that while they are happy to have their son alive, he will never be the same and said they could not forgive Conrad. Another family called Conrad “a low-life.”
During the sentencing hearing, Phillips said he wanted to focus on the crash.
Phillips said the defendant and the occupants were driving through the county “at high rate of speed.” He said they were using social media throughout the night detailing the trip through the county.
He said that on one video taken inside the car, the teens can be heard yelling the car’s speed as well as a cheer that if there was no cop, they wouldn’t stop at stop signs.
Occupants in the car told law enforcement that Conrad nearly crashed several times.
According to court documents, Conrad was driving about 106 miles per hour when he hit a raised portion of Harmon Patrick Road. The car went airborne, traveling more than 100 feet in the air, before hitting a transformer on a pole. When the car landed, it rolled several times according to court documents.
None of the occupants were wearing seatbelts.
In his sentencing memo, Phillips said the “horrible crash was a near certainty.”
While family members of the victim said they would not forgive him, Conrad said he wanted to “apologize to the families.”
“I am sorry for my actions,” Conrad, who cried through the majority of the sentencing hearing, told the judge.
“I regret my actions and decision to drive fast and run stop signs that night. I wish I could go back and change what happened by making sure everyone is wearing their seatbelt and driving the speed limit and stopping at stop signs.”
He said he “will forever be haunted by that night and my decisions that night.”
O’Connor said a presentence investigation found that factors indicate recidivism is “unlikely.”
He said Conrad had a responsibility to protect the children in the car. He said the driver is responsible, whether the passengers consented to the “idiotic” travel.
In addition to prison term, O’Connor suspended Conrad’s right to drive for the rest of his life.
Officials said restitution numbers are still being determined, though one victim’s family member said medical bills are in excess of $600,000.
O’Connor said the court will deal with the restitution when the numbers become available.
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